Home » General » GENEVA / WFP CYCLONE IDAI

STORY: GENEVA / WFP CYCLONE IDAI
TRT: 2:51
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 15 MARCH 2019 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, podium and journalists
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Herve Verhoosel, Senior Spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“Tropical Cyclone Idai has made landfall near the heavily-populated Mozambican port city of Beira, which has compounded destructive flooding that has already occurred as far inland as southern Malawi and eastern Zimbabwe. The World Food Programme has been stepping up preparations to meet large-scale assistance needs.”
4. Close-up, journalists.
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Herve Verhoosel, Senior Spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“We know already that some people sadly died in the past week and probably during the night. We don’t have any numbers to communicate for the moment as that number is changing constantly. And I believe it’s maybe better to wait for that.”
6. Med shot, journalists
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Herve Verhoosel, Senior Spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“We expect that some of the zone will have difficult or no access at all. I don’t know if you know a bit Mozambique, but the Zambezi river there, the water will of course come up a lot. We have a lot a villages and small cities there near the river, because a lot of the commercial activity is linked to the river with people who are fishing, people who use the river for communication between villages. And those zones will be the most affected.”
8. Close up, journalist
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Herve Verhoosel, Senior Spokesperson, World Food Programme (WFP):
“In addition to the helicopters already sent by the South African Government, WFP is sending at least one MI-8 transport helicopter to conduct emergency air operations in Mozambique, focusing on remote locations likely to be cut off by the floodwaters as soon as conditions allow and air space is open.”
10. Close up, journalist.
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Lindmeier, Spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Following the flooding which is coming with the rains, you have of course the risk of drowning and victims there, but you have also crush and trauma injuries through the flooding. This is typically followed later by waterborne diseases and rise of airborne disease like malaria could also be expected. But you have another scenario, which is the mid and long-term effects if you have damage to infrastructures and to health facilities: simple scenarios like assistance to pregnant women or deliveries, assistance to diabetes patients could be hampered. This is why an assessment to the damage of the health facilities is now of quite an importance on top of the immediate assistance to the victims and the surveillance of many diseases.”
12. Various shots, journalists

STORYLINE:

A major aid operation is under way in Mozambique and Malawi to help victims of tropical cyclone Idai, which has made landfall near the densely-populated Mozambican port city of Beira after registering maximum wind speeds of nearly 200 kilometres per hour, UN agencies said on Friday (15 Mar).

Exceptional rainfall before the cyclone hit has already affected a total of 1.5 million people in both Southern African countries and claimed more than 120 lives.

In addition, tens of thousands of people have been displaced and homes, roads, bridges and crops have been washed away, World Food Programme (WFP) spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel told journalists in Geneva.

He said, “tropical Cyclone Idai has made landfall near the heavily-populated Mozambican port city of Beira, which has compounded destructive flooding that has already occurred as far inland as southern Malawi and eastern Zimbabwe,” adding that “the World Food Programme has been stepping up preparations to meet large-scale assistance needs.”

Verhoosel also added that the UN agency has already begun to assess the extent of the flood damage and prioritise needs among the most vulnerable.

It is not yet clear how many people have lost their lives since the storm hit.

On 13 March, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that flooding had killed at least 122 people in Mozambique (66) and Malawi (56).

Verhoosel said, “we know already that some people sadly died in the past week and probably during the night,” adding that “we don’t have any numbers to communicate for the moment as that number is changing constantly. And I believe it’s maybe better to wait for that.”

Satellite imagery shows that Malawi’s Chikwawa district has been particularly badly affected by flooding, while Mozambique’s Zambezia and Tete provinces have also seen tens of thousands of people displaced and more than 168,000 hectares of crops reportedly affected.

Verhoosel said, “I don’t know if you know a bit Mozambique, but the Zambezi river there, the water will of course come up a lot. We have a lot a villages and small cities there near the river, because a lot of the commercial activity is linked to the river with people who are fishing, people who use the river for communication between villages. And those zones will be the most affected.”

He added, “we expect that some of the zone will have difficult or no access at all. I don’t know if you know a bit Mozambique, but the Zambezi river there, the water will of course come up a lot. We have a lot a villages and small cities there near the river, because a lot of the commercial activity is linked to the river with people who are fishing, people who use the river for communication between villages. And those zones will be the most affected.”

In Mozambique, help for people displaced by the flooding is being provided in 10 transit centres in Zambezia and two in Tete.

A first round of needs assessments has been completed, but crucial follow-up visits have hampered by fallen powerlines, overloaded mobile phone networks and the fact that airspace is closed over Mozambique because of the weather conditions.

Verhoosel also said, “in addition to the helicopters already sent by the South African Government, WFP is sending at least one MI-8 transport helicopter to conduct emergency air operations in Mozambique,” adding that “focusing on remote locations likely to be cut off by the floodwaters as soon as conditions allow and air space is open.”

Once the cyclone risk passes, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Christian Lindmeier cautioned that multiple dangers remain.

He said, “following the flooding which is coming with the rains, you have of course the risk of drowning and victims there, but you have also crush and trauma injuries through the flooding.”

Lindmeier continued, “this is typically followed later by waterborne diseases and rise of airborne disease like malaria could also be expected. But you have another scenario, which is the mid and long-term effects if you have damage to infrastructures and to health facilities: simple scenarios like assistance to pregnant women or deliveries, assistance to diabetes patients could be hampered. This is why an assessment to the damage of the health facilities is now of quite an importance on top of the immediate assistance to the victims and the surveillance of many diseases.”

Before it hit, OCHA cited expert predictions that Cyclone Idai could be the strongest cyclone to make landfall in Mozambique since Tropical Cyclone Eline, which struck Mozambique in February 2000.

Archives